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More people drinking fine wine at home, says UK survey

More people in the UK have turned to fine wine as an ‘affordable luxury’ to treat themselves at home in the past 18 months and the trend may be here to stay, suggests new research.

Nearly three quarters of UK adults responding to a recent survey said they had spent more money on fine wine since the beginning of the first Covid-19 lockdown in the country, in March 2020.

Around of half of respondents said they started buying fine wine as a way of enjoying a little luxury at home, found the survey, which was commissioned by the Bordeaux Index merchant and conducted by market research group 3GEM in August 2021.

While the hospitality industry has been hit particularly hard by the economic impact of Covid-19, some wine retailers, merchants and auction houses have reported strong demand from at-home drinkers in the last 18 months.

Fine wine at home not just a short-term trend

Eighty-six percent of the survey’s 500 respondents said they planned to make fine wine consumption a permanent lifestyle change, even as venues start to reopen.

Vintage, region and price were cited as the three most important influences on purchasing decisions, while 27% of respondents also said they bought fine wine for investment rather than for drinking.

Matthew O’Connell, director at Bordeaux Index, said, ‘Today’s findings show that the pandemic has significantly changed our approach to the way we consume fine wine, and the increasing desire to aspire to drink better at home.’

‘We have seen this in our own UK business, and interestingly have observed broadly similar patterns across our Asian and US offices.’

The survey also adds to emerging evidence that entertaining at home could be a key consumer trend over the longer-term, alongside dining out.

In August, on-trade consultancy group CGA said that many people in the UK had returned to restaurants and bars in July following the end of most Covid-19 restrictions.

‘As consumers returned to eating and drinking out following restrictions lifting, growth has naturally begun to slow in delivery and takeaway sales,’ said Karl Chessell, CGA’s business unit director for hospitality operators and food in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

‘However, it’s clear that consumer behaviours have shifted and hospitality at home will remain an important consideration.’

CGA’s report was published in partnership with Slerp, described as a digital growth platform that provides online ordering solutions for hospitality businesses.

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